How Things Work: Your Limbic System and Anxiety

Friday, December 13, 2013 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

Anxiety responses evolved to be triggered in a number of ways, both physical and psychological. The autonomic nervous system regulates these anxiety responses, regardless of where they came from. But there are a few more systems at play that can help us understand anxiety.

So, what else contributes to anxiety responses besides your mother-in-law?...  continue reading

What Causes A Panic Attack? The Minimalist Guide To A Very Nervous System

Monday, December 09, 2013 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

The Nervous System is aptly named. One of it's main functions is to identify danger and get us to respond to it by making us super uncomfortable with anxiety and other "nervous" symptoms. Those anxious feelings and scary thoughts are the direct result of surges of hormones that are released in response to firing from either the sympathetic or parasympathetic system.

The sympathetic and parasympathetic are big words that describe two systems at work that are supposed to balance each other out. The sympathetic system revs us up in the face of danger while the parasympathetic system calms us down afterwards. Like coffee and Baileys. Or maybe warm milk and chocolate chip cookies. Cocaine and heroin.

Let's check out an illustration. Say you happen to be walking along the shore of a Florida delta feeling pretty chill and happy. Suddenly, out of the depths comes an alligator....  continue reading

8 Anxiety Symptoms You've Probably Experienced (and why they are surprisingly necessary for survival)

Friday, December 06, 2013 by Meg   •   Filed under Anxiety

Anxiety sucks, mostly because we don't get to use it the way it was intended. Instead of using it to run from a tiger or fight an alligator, we feel the urge to run from something not even remotely tiger-like. Bummer.

Imagine yourself in a boardroom. As you stand to make your presentation, you feel a tightness in your abdomen. Your heart feels as if it is going to beat right out of your chest and you find that you are having trouble breathing. As you try to stop your hands from shaking, you wonder, "Why is this happening?"

What Anxiety Is...and What it Isn't

Anxiety is a common experience among...  continue reading